Facebook has evolved into something entirely different from what it was when it first launched in 2004. No one could have ever guessed that it would one day become a social media marketing behemoth it is today. And it all changed when Facebook introduced ‘business pages’ in 2007 along with some new advertising options for brands.
Digital marketers and business owners were well aware of the ever-growing number of users Facebook boasted at that time and started flocking to the platform to capture their respective audiences. And that’s where things started going south!
It seemed like more of a race between brands with almost all of them trying to woo their followers by bombarding marketing content at them. As more brands chimed in, more content was thrown on the platform turning it more into a marketing feed than a personal one.
That bothered Facebook! They have always strived to be a platform where users can connect with their friends and family and share memorable experiences with them and their latest algorithm change echoed just that.
Keeping in mind the 2.23 billion monthly active users on the platform, this algorithm update came in as a deadly blow for brands as it reduced their audience reach even more due to Facebook prioritizing content from friends and family in the news feed rather than branded content.
For brands, declining Facebook organic reach is nothing new. From being around 15% in 2012, It hovered around 2% in June 2016 and with this latest algorithm update, it has taken a dive again with some brands claiming it to be even less than 1%.
To put it into perspective, if you have a following of 100,000 followers, only a thousand of them will be able to see your posts organically, thanks to the new algorithm.
Which is plain sad. I think it’s high time brands need to rethink their marketing strategy on the platform as there is little to no chance that this organic reach will ever go up. You’ll have to consider taking a different marketing route in the wake of this new algorithm update. So, here’s how you can cope up with Facebook’s ever-dwindling organic reach.
Publish Content Your Fans Care About
With Facebook prioritizing genuine conversations and interactions, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll have to publish relevant content that engages your followers in some or the other way.
To stay at the top of news feeds of your audience, you can make use of ‘Facebook Page Insights’ to get a better idea of which posts performed well in the past and were able to gather the most engagements for your brand.
Doing this will give you an idea of what secret ingredients your most successful posts had in them that sparked responses, likes or shares from your audience and you can focus on creating similar posts for increased visibility.
Leverage Your Email Subscribers
You can blast your latest Facebook updates to your email list and enjoy early engagement on your posts.
The Facebook algorithm accesses the relevance of a post on the basis of interactions it has garnered and ranks them accordingly. More the audience engages with your post, higher will be it’s placement in the news feed of your audience.
Your email subscribers can give a much-needed boost to all your Facebook posts and push it up in the news feeds of your audience.
Make Use Of Live Video
Video rakes in 3x more engagement on Facebook than any other type of content. You know what beats video on the platform when it comes to generating interactions? Live Video!
Implemented fully on the platform in 2016, after watching its immediate success, Facebook announced that they will start ranking live videos higher in news feeds as they sparked more engagement. So, going live is the way to go if you want to stay at the top of news feeds.
You can hold live Q & A sessions, give your audience a behind-the-veil experience of your brand, familiarize them with the staff and what not, your imagination is the limit when it comes to broadcasting live videos.
When was the last time you created a group on Facebook? I guess it’s been long. Though this feature was available on Facebook since its inception, after this recent algorithm update, brands can make use of ‘Facebook Groups’ to deliver engaging content directly to their audience. Just create a group of your entire audience to start engaging.
This is a great way to break away from the norm of publishing branded content in crowded newsfeeds. Also, all your group members will receive a notification when you post an update in the group, which I think works well to bring in some instant interactions. See how HBO did it.
Facebook has also recently introduced ‘Watch Party’ in their groups which enables all the group members to watch videos in real-time. The functionality is available only in groups right now but expects it to come in profiles and pages as well soon.
Work With Influencers
Collaborating with influencers to sponsor branded content is the next big thing! Working with influencers has always been a remarkable way to engage with your existing audience and expand it even further.
It is a great way to tackle the new algorithm update and plus your audience will also love it. A win-win.
Reportedly, Facebook is working on building a tool within the platform that would make brand collaborations with influencers a piece of cake. So, watch this space!
Encourage Your Followers To Engage
Explicitly asking your followers to engage can actually make a difference. Simply ask them to share, like or comment on your posts as soon as they see it and watch the magic happen.
Also, you can encourage them to turn on notifications of your page and see your posts on priority in their news feeds. It can be done easily on your business page, just ask them to do it for you and you’ll soon cut out all clutter and appear at the top in the news feeds of all your followers (given the fact that they did change your page settings as you asked them to)
Diversify Your Marketing Efforts
With this ever-decreasing organic reach, just relying on Facebook for traction is just stupid. Seriously, don’t just put all your marketing effort on Facebook, diversify the platforms you market your brand to. It will help you a lot in the long-run.
Only focusing on increasing Facebook’s organic reach can be devastating for your brand if you don’t indulge in paid advertising on the platform. You can end up like ‘Little Things’.
Little Things was a once flourishing digital publisher on Facebook with a dedicated following of 12 million people, all garnered organically. After the algorithm change, their organic reach went so low that they had to shut down operations.
Maintaining a presence and growing an audience on Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat or Linkedin can come to your rescue if you ever face a situation like this.
Paid Advertising Is Always An Option
At last, if you are not happy with your current organic reach on the platform, you can always opt for paid advertising to instantly capture a wider audience that resembles your own.
When it comes to running laser-targeted Ad campaigns, Facebook provides some of the best audience targeting options out of all the other social media platforms and they give detailed in-depth insights about all the campaigns as well.
When it comes to paid advertising on Facebook, you can boost posts or run an Ad campaign using carousel ads, link click ads, video ads, dynamic product ads and many more depending on the specific goal you are running the Ad for.
There is no denying the fact that organic reach on Facebook is indeed on a sharp decline, and it’s just a matter of time before it reaches zero. Until then, you can make use of all the above-mentioned ways to rise despite it’s dwindling organic reach and might as well work on your paid marketing strategy on the platform or start targeting other social media platforms as well to keep that traffic coming in.
Author Bio: Saifi Rizvi is a passionate blogger and an accomplished digital marketing trainer. He is working with a leading digital marketing company and has written blogs on various topics like SEO, Blogging, products reviews, making money online, Google AdWords, etc. He has assisted many clients from different industries and helped them improve their online strategies.
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